Creating a strong brand in today’s marketplace can be a complex proposition. In the face of market saturation and information overload, how can your brand expect to stand out? A common mistake companies can make is to put the cart before the horse and attempt to tack on unique aspects without thinking it through. Brand positioning statements are a way for brands to establish well-defined goals, declare who they are, understand their competitive landscape, and ultimately to maintain brand alignment.
Yet writing an effective brand positioning statement is more easily said than done. With this in mind, today we will define exactly what a brand positioning statement is, the four components of a solid brand positioning statement, and how you can get started on your own.
What is a Brand Positioning Statement?
A brand positioning is not a slogan. It is not a mission statement. It is not a one-line declaration. Instead, brand positioning statements are carefully developed documents which answer four key questions about your brand. By understanding these four questions, your organization will be on it’s way towards developing your own unique brand positioning statement.
1. What is your product and what makes it marketable?
There are ~250,000 fast food restaurants in the United States today. These include burger joints, pizza places, Mexican fast food, and much more. At the core, these restaurants all deliver the same product: fast and inexpensive food with an emphasis on convenience. Now imagine that you are in charge of a fast food restaurant chain. How is your product different from the competition?
Take Chipotle as an example. Rather than focusing on low prices and the same old fare, Chipotle opened as a place to get restaurant quality Cal Mex food within the fast food service model. Customers loved that Chipotle had the convenience of fast food without sacrificing on nutrition. Today, Chipotle has over 2,500 locations worldwide by establishing their product identity, branding that identity, and sticking to their guns.
2. What is your target market and what makes this a good fit for your product?
The second key to developing a brand positioning statement is identifying your target market. Typical target marketing analysis might include market sizing research, site evaluation, demographic analysis, and much more. Simply stating that your target market is a geographic location or a particular age group is not sufficient to write a high quality brand positioning statement. This is one of the most vital components which will shape the direction of your branding efforts moving forward.
At this stage, you might find that your target audience and your product are not a 1-1 match. This is exactly why target market analysis is so vital. It is easier to either shift your target market, tweak your marketing materials, or tweak your products/services before initiating a marketing campaign than it is to adapt to customer complaints at a later date.
3. What is the competitive landscape and why is your product/service superior?
Now that you have established your product, your unique selling points, and your target market, the next step becomes identifying the competitive landscape. This can also be thought of as determining your brand positioning through measurements including competitive assessment, brand measurement, and product assessments. This stage is more than just a “how many competitors exist within my industry” — it should be thought of as an opportunity to assess what makes your products/services unique and superior in a marketable way.
Going back to the example of Chipotle, one would have thought that an oversaturated fast food market in the mid-90’s would be a terrible place to start a restaurant juggernaut. Yet Chipotle grew by providing a unique and (some would argue) superior product which differentiated itself from the competition. Stiff competition does not equal an unwinnable situation. It just requires that your products and the associated marketing campaigns separate your brand from the rest of the pack.
4. Why should your target audience believe your branding materials?
Last but not least, a brand positioning statement should include why your brand will deliver on its promises. If you are a fitness company that claims unparalleled athletic performance, where is the science to back that up? If you are tech firm claiming to have the fastest internet speeds, are there any independent studies confirming your marketing materials?
The modern consumer is quick to reject marketing material if they smell the faintest hint of insincerity or exaggeration. Proving that your product is what it claims to be is a critical part of any branding strategy.
Clock Tower Insight Offers Marketing Tools for Brand Growth
At Clock Tower Insight, we turn data into business solutions. By maximizing brand positioning, CX management, moments of influence, and more, we help build our clients brands in the short and long term. Clock Tower Insight believes that happy customers equal a happy business. We work closely with clients to tailor their brand from top to bottom in order to maximize positive image, exposure, and sales. To learn more about how we may be able to help your business grow, read about our 15 plus years of focused experience working with brands such as Starbucks, Kraft, McDonald’s, and much more.